Here’s the thing:  when my brain convinces me that I need a homemade doughnut, it’s not telling me that I need a dozen homemade doughnuts.  As a solo person in a houseful of cakes, I’ve come to hack desserts to half their size for my own sanity.  Remember ages ago when I made Single Lady Pancakes? Yup:  spot on.  I even remade them here with a massive amount of blueberries The Single Pancake. Not a single regret. 

I’d also like to remind you of French Toast For One (or Two), which is a tremendous idea any day of the week.  

Which brings us to doughnuts – a recipe for just two.  Both for you or a wonderful opportunity to display your unlimited generosity.  

They’re twisted, yeasted doughnuts (not a bit of dough is wasted) drenched in cinnamon sugar.  

How ’bout it? 

Here’s what you’ll need doughnut friends:  

•  a cup of flour

•  an egg, a pat of butter, and a dash more than a splash of whole milk

•  yeast and warm water, sugar, and salt

•  oil for frying

•  cinnamon and sugar for dredging.  

We’ve made all sorts of doughnuts around here.  For a step-by-step of doughnut dough in the making see Banana Cream Pie Doughnuts.  

I use an electric stand mixer with a dough hook to bring the dough together.  It’s actually very simple, once the yeast is combined with the warm water to activate it, the rest of the ingredients are just combined in the bowl and mixed to smooth.  

The fat will make a velvet smooth and pliable dough. 

Allow the dough to rest in a warm place in the kitchen for an hour or so.  It will puff and double in size. It’s really very satisfying. 

Now let’s make two doughnuts! 

Divide the risen dough in half. 

Roll each half into a 15-inch dough rope.  

I find that I needed a bit of flour, but really not much at all.  You want the dough to stick to the counter just a bit, giving it enough resistance to stretch.  

Fold the dough rope in half so the ropes are parallel. 

And start to twist.  

This is where it also helps to have the dough be just slightly sticky.  It will help the dough ropes stick together once twisted.  

Twist to the end and tuck the edges under, sealing with a pinch.  

Let the twists rest for about 30 minutes.  The dough will puff up lightly and the inside twist will start to stick together. 

While the dough rests and rises we can whisk together the cinnamon and sugar in a large bowl.  

And we can start to heat the oil.  

I used 1 quart (that’s 4 cups) of oil in a 3 quart saucepan.  Even though we’re only making two doughnuts, we need enough oil, and depth of oil, to fully submerge and float our frying doughnut.  

What I’m saying is, don’t try to skimp on the oil.  We need this.  

For best results, exercise extreme patience and fry one doughnut at a time. 

The dough is cooked in hot hot oil (355 degrees F to be exact – get thyself a fry thermometer) to golden brown.  

From hot oil to a cinnamon sugar bath, and maybe an extra cinnamon sugar shower. Get it on there. 

All that hard work? 

We deserve a second cup of coffee and some quality time with this twist.  Call a friend, or you know… don’t. 

A Recipe For 2 Doughnuts

Serves 2

For the Doughnuts

  1. 3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
  2. 1 tablespoon warm water
  3. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  4. 1/4 cup warmed whole milk
  5. 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
  6. 1 large egg yolk
  7. 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  8. 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  9. pinch of ground cinnamon

For Frying and Topping

  1. 1 quart (4 cups) canola or neutral oil
  2. a 3 quart saucepan
  3. 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  4. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  5. small pinch of sea salt


  1. Stir together yeast and warm water in a small bowl until yeast is dissolved. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (If yeast doesn’t foam, discard and start over with new yeast.)
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine flour, milk, butter, yolks, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and yeast mixture. Use a spatula to quickly bring the ingredients together then mix at low speed until a soft dough forms. Increase speed to medium-high and beat 3 minutes more.
  3. Scrape dough down side of bowl (all around) into center, then sprinkle lightly with flour (to keep a crust from forming). Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
  4. Turn dough out onto a very lightly floured surface. You won’t need much flour at all because you want the dough to stick to the counter just a bit. The resistance helps the top elongate and the doughnut twist stick to itself and stay coiled during frying.
  5. Divide the dough in half.
  6. Roll each half of dough into a 15-inch rope. Fold the rope in half, creating two 7 1/2-inch strands parallel from one another. Twist the dough ropes over each other, creating a twist, pressing and folding the two strands of dough together and under to seal the doughnut. Repeat with the second half of the dough.
  7. Place the two twisted doughnuts on a parchment lined baking sheet. Allow to rise for 30 minutes.
  8. While the doughnuts rise, mix together sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl large enough to toss around the cooked doughnut.
  9. When you’re ready to fry the doughnuts, place 1 qt of oil into a 3 qt saucepan. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan so that the bulb is submerged in the oil to register the temperature. Heat over medium-high heat until the oil reaches 355 degrees F.
  10. Fry one doughnut at a time.
  11. Gently lower the doughnut into the hot oil and allow to fry and brown for 30 – 45 seconds. Flip to the other side and fry for 30 – 45 seconds more. Rotate the doughnut through the oil for 15 more seconds, making sure that every bit of the doughnut is moistened with very hot oil. Remove and quickly transfer to the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Quickly toss to coat on all sides and remove from the sugar and place on a wire rack.
  12. Return oil to 355°F between batches and fry second doughnut. Quickly transfer to sugar mixture, coat generously and allow to rest on the wire rack.
  13. Enjoy with coffee! You did great!

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